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Economic Policy in a Recession. Lessons from the Past

Research output: Working paper

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Abstract

When an economy drops suddenly into recession, the paramount objective of any policy initiative is to avoid deflation. To that end, quantitative easing has little to offer. Arguments from the 1930s are assessed within the context of the recent Global Financial Crisis, where the preceding twenty years of the Great Moderation had left economists high on hubris. In avoiding their deserved comeuppance, economists continue to parade an ever-more sophisticated intertwining of statistical data within mathematical relationships that is essentially divorced from social and political relevance. Though sorely needed, the broad strokes of a politico-historical perspective are rarely found within the purview of current mainstream economics.